Thursday, November 30 2023

Bible Reading for: July 1

Psalms 90-95

If you have submitted your life to Christ, you have become a child of God, and He will command His angels concerning you!

While reading Psalm 91, I was reminded of a time in my life when God physically saved me. God has saved me spiritually. That happened when I accepted His sacrifice on the cross. God has also saved me physically in that at His second coming I will be given a new, incorruptible body. This is not, however, what I mean when I say God physically saved me. I have been in a number of situations in my life where I felt God’s presence while in physical danger. I’ll share one of those stories with you here, but first let me show you the passage that brought all of this to mind.

Psalm 91:9-16 ESV
“Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge —
no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

Many years ago, I was a single man working as a freelance stage manager of corporate events. I was hired on as an assistant stage manager for an event for a pharmaceutical company that was held at the Arie Crown theatre in Chicago. The show finished well, and I hurriedly closed up my gear and went on stage to say my good-byes to my colleagues; I was in a hurry to get to the airport, and strike, or tear-down, was not part of my duties.

Having said good-bye, I walked off stage through some curtains that were hanging from what we call a “boom”. A boom is a heavy steel pipe screwed into a heavy steal base with another length of steel pipe attached at the top forming a T. To the top of this T was tied a heavy black curtain; we call these curtains “legs” in the theatre. As I emerged back stage, I noticed that I was alone, everyone else was on stage tearing down the scenery, lighting, audio, and video. Out of nowhere I heard a voice in my head say “run”.

Do you know what I mean by this? You know when you hear something through your ears right? You also know what your own thoughts sound like in your head. What I heard did not come through my ears. It was a voice in my head but it was not my voice. Freaky huh? I don’t know about you, but when a freaky voice in my head, which I have never heard before, tells me to run, do you know what I do? I freeze in absolute shock and astonishment! I started whipping my head to the left and right and all around looking for the source for this voice. In the meantime, the voice repeated itself a bit louder and more urgently; “Run!” I was still stuck to the floor, paralyzed with shock. “Run! Run!! Run!!!” Evidently, I’m not a very good listener.

All of a sudden, my right and left arms were jerked up in air by their elbows and I was lifted up on my tip-toes and dragged forward. I felt like a couple of bouncers had a hold of me and they were giving me the bums rush out the door. My legs bobbed up and down as I tried to keep up with these invisible bouncers. My head continued to whip first left, and then right, and then back again, attempting to make some sense out of what was happening. And then, as suddenly as it started, I was let go, no voice, my arms released and dropped at my sides.

Before I could catch my breath, that boom I had just passed came crashing down, landing just four inches from my heels. I felt the wind of it rush past me in a puff. If I had not moved, it would have hit me square on the head and likely killed me. From on stage I heard someone yell “What was that?” I did not answer the question; I was unable to speak. I sat down on my equipment box and shook for a good fifteen minutes.

Today I am reminded that God will command His angels concerning me to guard me in all my ways. Little did I know at the time that God had already promised that His angels would bear me up on their hands lest I strike my foot against a stone. I was a Christian back then, but not a very good one. I had some unrepentant sin in my life, of which God eventually convicted me and from which He freed me. Still, He guarded me. God’s promises are wondrous; they are stupendous; they are undeserved but they depend on Him, not on us. Still, God does not promise that I won’t have troubles and difficulties in this life, I have and will. God has disciplined me, and I have certainly deserved it. But as I’ve said before, God’s discipline is good. Look what the Psalmist said in Psalm 94.

Psalm 94:12-15 ESV
“Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord,
and whom you teach out of your law,
to give him rest from days of trouble,
until a pit is dug for the wicked.
For the Lord will not forsake his people;
he will not abandon his heritage;
for justice will return to the righteous,
and all the upright in heart will follow it.”

Here God tells us that he provides for us with His Word that we may have rest in days of trouble. Those days of trouble might be discipline or they might just be the consequences of living in a fallen world. In either case, we can rest assured that God is fulfilling his purpose for us in those circumstances.

I shared the story I narrated above with a colleague a few years ago. When I finished my tale, he sat silently for a few moments and then turned to me and said “Why are you here?” I didn’t understand the question. He said, “If something like that had happened to me I would be out telling people about it.” I have to tell you, that hurt. It hurt a lot. Of course, that question could have been asked of me a long time before that boom came crashing to the ground. Jesus Christ took my beating and crucifixion. I deserved death, and He took my place. That act by Christ for my benefit, over 2,000 years ago, was a far more miraculous occurrence than my experience on that stage.

God came down, took my place, and saved me for all eternity! What a miracle! Why am I not out telling people about that most amazing of occurrences? Why am I here? Brother, why are you here?

Have a day of peace in the knowledge that God has commanded His angels concerning you!

Vivere Victorem! (Live Victorious!)

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Dying to self, living to serve!

P.S. I just couldn’t pass this up without comment. Did you read Psalm 94:20? “Can wicked rulers be allied with you, those who frame injustice by statute?” I think our political leaders need to be reading their Bibles more; don’t you?

P.S.S. Congratulations!  You have completed reading half of the Bible!  Isn’t that fantastic?  Is it making any difference in your life? It is in mine!  Let me know what, if anything, this experience has done for you so far!

Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: 2 Chronicles 19-23
Old Testament Only: 2 Chronicles 17–19
New Testament Only: Acts 5:17–42


God Is Faithful


Godly Manhood

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